Chloe Amarilla, Lauren Richards Win SCIAC Offensive Player, Newcomer of the Year Awards

Chloe Amarilla, Lauren Richards Win SCIAC Offensive Player, Newcomer of the Year Awards

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior pitcher/infielder Chloe Amarilla earned the SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year award, and freshman pitcher/infielder Lauren Richards was chosen as the Newcomer of the Year in a vote of the conference's coaches, the league office announced today.

Head Coach Gina Oaks Garcia and her staff (assistant coaches Stevie Knapp, Bob Oaks, and Will Loredo) were also named the SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year after guiding the Athenas to a first-place finish at 24-4 in league play. Sophomore designated player Megan Perron joined Richards and Amarilla on the All-SCIAC first team, while sophomore catcher Maddie Valdez and sophomore outfielder Molly Spaniac earned second-team All-SCIAC honors.

As the team's two starting pitchers, who have also played shortstop and third base when not in the circle, Amarilla and Richards were a big part of a CMS team that won 30 regular season games and earned the top seed in the conference tournament with its 24-4 league mark. The Athenas climbed as high as No. 5 in the NFCA national rankings, and currently rank No. 24 nationally heading into the SCIAC Tournament. 

Amarilla, an NFCA All-America selection a year ago as an infielder, has batted in the leadoff spot all season and has been the top table-setter and engine for an offense that has averaged almost six runs a game (5.97). She enters postseason play with a .379 batting average and 49 runs scored in 39 games. She had 17 extra-base hists, including six home runs (two grand slams - one over the fence, one inside-the-park), for a .600 slugging percentage and stole 13 bases without being caught. As a pitcher, Amarilla has a 10-6 record in the circle for CMS this season, usually in the No. 1 starter role. 

Richards had a big impact on CMS as well in her freshman season, tallying an 18-3 record and a 2.45 ERA in the pitching circle. She won her first 10 collegiate decisions, and almost made it through the entire SCIAC schedule without a loss, before ending the year at 16-1 after getting the loss in a relief appearance in the opener of the regular season finale at Whittier. At the plate, she batted .270 with nine doubles and 22 runs batted in, and had a spectacular .987 fielding percentage while playing both shortstop and third base when not in the circle. 

Perron tore the cover off the ball in her first season as a regular part of the CMS lineup. After an injury plagued freshman year, Perron wasn't in the opening day lineup against Whitworth, but batted 2-for-4 in the nightcap, had a pinch hit in the third game against Vanguard, and never came out of the lineup again. She finished the year with a SCIAC-best .472 batting average, with 14 doubles, three triples and three home runs, while driving in 40 runs and stealing nine bases without being caught.   

Valdez had a big year offensively as well for the Athenas, setting a new single-season school record with 11 home runs, nine of which came in SCIAC games. She enters the postseason with a .373 batting average with 40 RBI to match Perron for team-high honors. Spaniac, meanwhile, comes into the SCIAC Tournament with a .336 batting average and has had a significant role in the No. 2 spot in the order, tallying 14 sacrifices to set the table for Perron, Valdez and Richards when not getting on base herself. 

CMS will open SCIAC Tournament action on Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Whittier, with Chapman and Pomona-Pitzer meeting in the second opening-day game at 3:30 p.m. The two losers will meet at 11 a.m. on Saturday in an elimination game, followed by the winners at 1:30. The championship round will be held on Sunday at 12 p.m., with a second game to follow 30 minutes after, if necessary.  

To view the full All-SCIAC teams, head to the following link on the league website:

2019 All-SCIAC Softball